Soyuz MS-17 begins expedition 63 by carrying Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov, Sergey Kud-Sverchkov and NASA astronaut Kathleen Rubins to the International Space Station aboard the Soyuz spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. After launching from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, they will rendezvous to the station where they will remain for their 6 month stay.
The Roscosmos State Corporation for Space Activities, commonly known as Roscosmos, is the governmental body responsible for the space science program of the Russian Federation and general aerospace research. Soyuz has many launch locations the Russian sites are Baikonur, Plesetsk and Vostochny however Ariane also purchases the vehicle and launches it from French Guiana.
NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy, Expedition 63 commander, will hand over the International Space Station command to ROSCOSMOS cosmonaut Sergey Ryzhikov who will become commander of Expedition 64.
The Soyuz MS-17 spacecraft will dock to the International Space Station carrying three new Expedition 63 crew members : ROSCOSMOS cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov as well as NASA astronaut Kathleen Rubins.